The 80/20 rule isn’t something we usually think about, but it applies to almost any situation. Another name for this is Pareto’s Principle. Essentially, 20% of the work accounts for 80% of the results. 20% of customers account for 80% of the profits. Although not exactly 80/20, this can be applied to almost any situation.
Focus on the 20%. We need to analyze our situation and see what the 20% is to determine what’s causing 80% of the results. Maybe our sleep drives 80% of how we feel the next day. Maybe our one marketing strategy accounts for 80% of sales. Whatever it is, we need to identify and focus on it. This will ensure that we are honing in on what matters most for results.
Expand the 20%. Once we see where our 20% is, we need to do more of that. This can be seen as a paradoxical effect because there will always be a 20%, but we keep improving our results as we keep expanding our 20%. If our customer service is what we do 20% of the time and it affects our business 80% of the time, then we hone in on customer service and see how we can make it an even better experience. Life is all about finding our strengths and maximizing them.
Cut down the 80%. As we work on the 20% that makes us the most success, we need to cut down the 80% to make more time for the 20%. This can be tough because the 80% is what we do most of the time and it may seem counterintuitive, but we need to follow where the results comes from.
Whether it’s fitness, work, or relationships, we can always find the 80/20 ratio and apply it. There are margins of improvement everywhere — all we have to do is look for them.
“The way to create something great is to create something simple.” -Richard Koch